Ok guys, I apologize for being gone the past couple of days but I do have a good excuse. Being the constant do-gooder that I am, I spent the past couple days traveling home to Da Ville, traveling down to Owensboro and checking in on the action down at the Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
My trip to Owensboro didn’t quite turn out as planned, although the plans were kinda screwed up in a good way. Turns out there were too many volunteers checking in and by the time we arrived, which was around 11 am, there was already more than enough help for the day. We did get the opportunity to view the site, which was extremely impressive. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that I witnessed an entire “country” front yard (which means much bigger than your average neighborhood front yard) get sodded in under 20 minutes. It really was awesome to see what people are willing to do to help their fellow man (albeit aided somewhat by the opportunity to see semi-celebs).
To get you guys up to speed, the visits with Doron Lamb’s parents and Tobias Harris’ family are complete. If you didn’t get the chance to check out the Zag’s blog link earlier, you should. Seems like the staff is doing a bang up job in the early visits. Kyrie Irving also received a visit from the staff. Kyrie has remained pretty quiet so far about how the visit went, although he did tweet that the visit was “great.” I’ll try to get a little more out of him through the weekend.
Today the staff will be meeting with Adreian Payne, his grandmother and possibly his high school head coach. Now that I’m back on the grind, I’ll be making a few calls to get the skinny on what goes down. Payne is down to five schools (Michigan State, Arizona, Kentucky, Kansas and West Virginia) and the plan remains to take all five official visits before deciding. The in-home visit is mega-important because it is probably the lone opportunity for coaches to meet with Payne’s grandmother, who doesn’t plan on making the official trips.
Also wanted to update you guys on a couple of commitments. Joe Jackson, in the least shocking commitment of the year, chose to stay home and attend Memphis. Jackson and Will Barton will make quite a back court for Josh Pastner in 2010 and will probably still have the aid of Duke transfer Elliott Williams. That will probably be one of the best back courts in the country regardless of what other schools are able to pull together. Jackson cut UK from his list a while back and seemed to be behind Knight, Selby and Irving in terms of UK’s priorities. The lack of a scholarship offer probably didn’t help the Cats either. Keala King also made his commitment to Arizona State. UK was listed amongst his favorites for awhile but, in the end, it looks like King wanted to stay out west, with his top three at last check being Arizona, Arizona State and Stanford. Great pick up for the Sun Devils, who are getting on of the more skilled wings in the class.
Lastly, Larry Vaught released this blog entry, where he mentions that UK expects to sign two recruits by November, both being highly rated guys. Honestly, while this is news to keep the fan base excited, I honestly think this might be a safe bet. With the amount of highly rated guys they are pursuing, the amount of those that are thought to like Kentucky quite a bit and the consensus being that UK will most likely have a four man class, the only thing that might keep the fall signings at two would be guys holding out for the Spring signing period. Selby is the only one who will DEFINITELY wait until Spring, meaning that some other guys would have to hold off until late or UK would probably be a little disappointed in only landing two guys. Let me be straight with this, UK’s staff would be disappointed but UK fans shouldn’t be. Landing two top tier guys in the Fall is quite the feat and definitely has to be something that UK fans would love to get used to.
I’ll check back in with you guys soon, hopefully with some news on how the most recent in-home visits went.